1st Sundayof Lent Year A -26/2 /2023 - Gospel: Mt 4:1-11
Original Deception
The Spirit of God was mysterious with Jesus both before and after his wilderness experience. Jesus fasted for forty days. The purpose of the testing is to glorify God. How? By obeying His Father's will, and defeating the power of the devil; He shows them that God's word has the power to fight against temptation.

After the wilderness experience, the devil knew Jesus was hungry and he tempted him. There is no indication of how much longer He could go without food, but his mind was sharper than ever; and He was robust in climbing up to the top of the temple. Jesus took this opportunity to teach humanity about His Father's will and the power of God's word. The word of God is the ultimate weapon. It is stronger than all of the devil's temptations.

The devil tempted Jesus three times, and each time, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy to answer him. In quoting the Old Testament verses, Jesus confirms the validity of the Old Testament; and that strengthened Moses' teaching. It seems that most temptations are from a similar mould: they have doubt about the existence of God. They contain vainglory, and the promise of an instant reward. Vainglory and reward are the baits, the devil employs to lure people. Two out of three temptations, the devil casts doubt in Jesus' mind. Jesus affirms His Father's existence. This truth is undeniable. Each time, Jesus announces the bounty of God's love, and His unswayable love for the Father. We need to be crystal clear about this teaching because when doubt creeps in, a person tends to make himself a god; follows his own will, and yearns for vain glory.

In the statement 'If you are the Son of God', the devil admits God exists, and that Jesus is God's Son, whose power is miraculous, and unlimited. The devil knows that Jesus is God's only Son, and yet he pretends to say that he might not be the right one. The devil deceives himself, because elsewhere, he once lamented,

'Jesus, You come to destroy us before time, we know who you are?' Mt 8,29

We are sure that all temptations aim to deceive the people. The devil failed to make Jesus doubt the existence of God, but this ploy seems to work well in the modern world. Every time we doubt the existence of God, we know that it is the work of the devil, who casts doubt in our minds about the existence of God.

The third temptation proves that the devil is incapable of telling the truth. He promised to give Jesus all the kingdoms of this world. God creates the world. God owns the world, and yet the devil promises to give God what he doesn't own. He has no right to do so. His promise is an empty promise; because he can't give what he doesn't have. We know God owns the universe, because when Pilate made a claim that he had the power to set him free. Jesus told Pilate.

'You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above Jn 19,11'.

Each time we are tempted, we need to learn from Jesus. Put God as our first priority in life, and use God's word for inner strength.

Bread provides food for our physical needs, but not for our spiritual life. The word of God enriches our spiritual life, and that is our real need. When we are fed with God's word, we are truly alive, and happy, and understand the purpose of life. His second answer, Jesus told the devil he must submit, and worship the true and living God. Jesus made it even clearer when he told him and his followers that they worship false gods; namely the god of wealth, power, and fame, and being a god of their own. Jesus warns us that there can't be two, but only one true and living God, and that is His Father. All other gods are man-made gods.